A massive 'thank you' to the smallVOICE podcast for directing me to this book, which I absolutely loved.
At one level, it is the story of a couple walking an extremely long coastal path, and it has all the 'insider' humour that walkers of long distance footpaths understand and share. At times I laughed out loud - not much makes me do that.
At another level it is a story about homelessness, and the skilful inclusion of statistical data along the way is challenging and thought provoking.
At yet another level it is about home, and how that may be found not in place or bricks and mortar, but in relationships.
At still another it is about the kindness, and the cruelty, of strangers, about people in all our muddled, messed up humanity.
And then at its heart is a couple coming to terms with traumatic and life-changing events, including a life-limiting degenerative illness.
All of it told with a lightness of touch, some skilful and engaging imagery, vulnerable honesty and compelling story-telling.
Way back, nine years ago, I used the metaphor of a long distance footpath to describe and interpret my experience of being treated for cancer. In a good and helpful way, the book took me back to that metaphor and reminded me just how far along that road/path/journey I have travelled and how that has informed/transformed my own understanding and living.
If you like audio books, and if you like the actress Anne Reid, then I heartily commend that. If you prefer a good old fashioned paper book, then it's available at any good book store.
If you only read one book this year, then I recommend this one!